IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Endogenous discounting, the world saving glut and the U.S. current account

  • Choi, Horag
  • Mark, Nelson C.
  • Sul, Donggyu

We study the evolution of the U.S. current account in a two-country dynamic stochastic endowment model in which a single non-state contingent bond is the only internationally traded asset. The paper focuses on the world 'saving glut' as the primary cause of continual deterioration in the current account and departs from the standard framework by introducing a three-parameter model of the subjective discount factor that depends on societal (per capita) variables that are external to household choices. When agents in the model are presented with U.S. and rest-of-world endowment data as the realization of the exogenous state vector, endogenously driven short-run international differences in subjective discounting that display increasing relative U.S. impatience create saving and current account imbalances that matches patterns observed in the data.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 75 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 30-53

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:75:y:2008:i:1:p:30-53
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Christopher D. Carroll, 2001. "A Theory of the Consumption Function, with and without Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 23-45, Summer.
  2. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2003. "Closing small open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 163-185, October.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld, 1981. "Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect?," NBER Working Papers 0686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. International Monetary Fund, 2005. "Net Foreign Asset Positions and Consumption Dynamics in the International Economy," IMF Working Papers 05/82, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Catherine L. Mann, 1999. "Is the U.S. Trade Deficit Sustainable?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 47.
  6. Giancarlo Corsetti & Gernot J. Müller, 2005. "Twin Deficits: Squaring Theory, Evidence and Common Sense," Economics Working Papers ECO2005/22, European University Institute.
  7. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 2006. "The U.S. Current Account Deficit and the Expected Share of World Output," NBER Working Papers 11921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff & Richard Clarida, . "The Unsustainable U S Current Account Position Revisited," Working Paper 14901, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  9. Carroll, Christopher D, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55, February.
  10. Carroll, Christopher D., 2011. "Theoretical foundations of buffer stock saving," CFS Working Paper Series 2011/15, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  11. James M. Nason & John H. Rogers, 2003. "The present-value model of the current account has been rejected: Round up the usual suspects," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2003-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  12. Joseph W. Gruber & Steven B. Kamin, 2005. "Explaining the global pattern of current account imbalances," International Finance Discussion Papers 846, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Blanchard, Olivier & Giavazzi, Francesco & Sá, Filipa, 2005. "The US Current Account and the Dollar," CEPR Discussion Papers 4888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2005. "Current Account Balances, Financial Development and Institutions: Assaying the World "Savings Glut"," NBER Working Papers 11761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Baxter, M. & Crucini, M., 1991. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," RCER Working Papers 316, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  16. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John Sabelhaus, 1996. "Understanding the Postwar Decline in U.S. Saving: A Cohort Analysis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 315-407.
  17. Sebastian Edwards, 2005. "Is the U.S. Current Account Deficit Sustainable? And If Not, How Costly is Adjustment Likely To Be?," NBER Working Papers 11541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Hamid Faruqee & Douglas Laxton & Dirk Muir & Paolo Pesenti, 2005. "Smooth landing or crash? model based scenarios of global current account rebalancing," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Bergin, Paul R., 2006. "How well can the New Open Economy Macroeconomics explain the exchange rate and current account?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 675-701, August.
  20. Chinn, Menzie D. & Prasad, Eswar S., 2003. "Medium-term determinants of current accounts in industrial and developing countries: an empirical exploration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 47-76, January.
  21. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2004. "The US Current Account Deficit and Economic Development: Collateral for a Total Return Swap," NBER Working Papers 10727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Paul Bergin & Steven Sheffrin, . "Interest Rates, Exchange Rates And Present Value Models Of The Current Account," Department of Economics 97-22, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  23. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 2001. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth among U.S. Households?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 832-857, September.
  24. Lawrence Summers & Chris Carroll, 1987. "Why Is U.S. National Saving So Low?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(2), pages 607-642.
  25. Yi, Kei-Mu, 1993. "Can government purchases explain the recent U.S. net export deficits?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3-4), pages 201-225, November.
  26. Domeij, David & Flodén, Martin, 2004. "Population Ageing and International Capital Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 4644, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
  28. David N. Weil, 2006. "Population Ageing," Working Papers id:506, eSocialSciences.
  29. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: US External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 0606, CEPREMAP.
  30. Bussière, Matthieu & Fratzscher, Marcel & Müller, Gernot J., 2010. "Productivity shocks, budget deficits and the current account," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1562-1579, December.
  31. Orazio P. Attanasio, 1993. "A Cohort Analysis of Saving Behavior by U.S. Households," NBER Working Papers 4454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
  33. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "Savings Gluts and Interest Rates: The Missing Link to Europe," NBER Working Papers 11520, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie, 1998. "The international transmission of economic fluctuations:: Effects of U.S. business cycles on the Canadian economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 257-287, April.
  35. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1991. "International real business cycles," Staff Report 146, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  36. Bian, Yong & Meng, Qinglai, 2004. "Preferences, endogenous discount rate, and indeterminacy in a small open economy model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 315-322, September.
  37. repec:cup:macdyn:v:7:y:2003:i:2:p:263-90 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. Meng, Qinglai, 2006. "Impatience and equilibrium indeterminacy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2671-2692, December.
  39. Kim, Sunghyun Henry & Kose, M. Ayhan, 2003. "Dynamics Of Open-Economy Business-Cycle Models: Role Of The Discount Factor," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 263-290, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:75:y:2008:i:1:p:30-53. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.